Alex DaSilva, D.D.S., D.Med.Sc.
- Assistant Professor of Dentistry
- Research Assistant Professor, CHGD
Biological and Materials Sciences
Dr. DaSilva is currently the Director of H.O.P.E. (Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort), a multidisciplinary collaborative effort to investigate the brain as a research and therapeutic target for chronic trigeminal pain disorders. The fact that many therapeutic modalities for chronic pain, which focus on peripheral mechanisms, do not provide relief for treatment-resistant patients raises the possibility that the cause for the chronicity of these debilitating disorders may lie in the brain itself. One hypothesis is that functional and structural dysfunction of specific cortical areas (e.g. SI, DLPFC), even at a molecular level (e.g. opioidergic and gabanergic mechanisms), may be responsible for the persistence and intensification of the pain suffering. Together with collaborators from the University of Michigan and other academic institutions, we use state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, PET, MRS, DTI, and MRI-based morphometry) to study neuroplasticity, and to investigate novel therapeutic approaches and mechanisms in chronic trigeminal pain disorders, including TMD the main focus.